WHAT IF IT'S TRUE?

Friday, March 29, 2019

WHAT IF IT'S TRUE?
A Storyteller's Journey With Jesus
Charles Martin

OVERVIEW:
With the same depth, sensitivity, and emotion that has made his novels beloved to millions, Charles Martin helps us engage the fundamental principles of our faith in new and inspiring ways.

Years ago, Martin cracked open his Bible and began wrestling with a few fundamental questions. He asked, “What if every single word of Scripture is absolutely true and I can trust it? How do I respond? Something in me should change, but what? How?” This book is the result of that exploration.

Writing as our guide, he uses a storyteller’s imagination to illuminate key moments from the Scriptures, primarily from the life and ministry of Jesus. In addition, Martin shares key moments from his own journey as a disciple—and bondservant—of Christ and a mentor to others. The result is a striking exploration of truth that helps us not just think differently, but live differently. Today.

AUTHOR: Charles Martin is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twelve novels, including, The Mountain Between Us and Send Down the Rain. Charles and his wife, Christy live in Jacksonville, Florida. Learn more about him at charlesmartinbooks.com.

MY REVIEW: Excellent. Moving. True. I rarely if ever, begin a review this way. But this book is the exception. Did I say, "I like it"? I do. I like it a lot. Do I agree with everything Martin has to say in this book? No. But I agree with almost all of it and I think you will too.

However, if you do not enjoy reading Scripture do not buy this book. It is filled with the Word of God. Martin confesses that he is not a theologian. He is a writer. In my opinion, he is a writer with a good knowledge of Scripture. He uses a storyteller's imagination to illuminate key moments from the Scriptures, primarily from the life and ministry of Jesus. He also shares key moments from his life to help us live more like Jesus.

I agree with Ryan Britt, "Inside these pages, you will find the compassion of Jesus, the Father heart of God, and the endearing call of the Holy Spirit. Each chapter is a journey in and of itself, each prayer a healing balm to the wounded or wandering heart."

(I received this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for a fair and honest review.)

DECODING YOUR DREAMS

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

DECODING YOUR DREAMS
What the Lord May Be Saying to You
While You Sleep
By Jennifer LeClaire

OVERVIEW: In Decoding Your Dreams, Jennifer LeClaire demonstrates how God does indeed speak through dreams and why it is so important to understand what He's saying. Jennifer begins with biblical stories of mothers and fathers of the faith who experienced God through dreams at some of the most critical junctures of their lives. Jennifer is convinced God is still doing the same today, if we will only listen. Decoding Your Dreams teaches how to recognize the way God speaks through dreams by *showing how heroes of the Bible acknowledged dreams, *revealing the true source of dreams, *explaining dream classifications, and *pointing to scriptural and cultural dream codes.
(Taken from the back of the book.)

AUTHOR: Jennifer LeClaire is an internationally recognized conference speaker and prophetic voice. She is the senior leader of several prayer networks, including Awakening House of Prayer. Jennifer is a former editor of Charisma magazine and has authored more than twenty-five books, including Mornings with the Holy Spirit. She lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and is active online at www.Jenniferleclaire.org.

MY REVIEW: Let me begin by saying Decoding Your Dreams is well written and easy to read. Jennifer LeClaire knows a lot about dreams and what she thinks they mean. I wanted to read and review this book because I do not know anything about how to interpret dreams. I would love to know more and I was hoping this book would help. It didn't. I'm sorry to say that. I like to give positive book reviews and most of the time I am happy to say that I can and do. I did enjoy this book and I think others will also. And others may gain a better understanding of how to interpret dreams by reading this book. More so than I did.

The part of the book I found most useful was: Conclusion: 20 Answers to Questions Every Dreamer Wants to Know. I think most readers will find this part of the book interesting because most of us have these same questions. I'm not going to tell you that LeClaire does a great and satisfying job of answering these questions. I simply don't know. I will keep this book on hand and I am sure I will refer to it again when puzzled by a dream.

So, if you like me, would like to know what the Lord may be saying to you while you sleep, you may want to check out Decoding Your Dreams. Just because I'm still "in a fog" on this subject it doesn't mean you will be. This book may be a great blessing for you.

(I received this book from Book Look Bloggers for a fair and honest review.)


HOLY ROAR

Monday, January 07, 2019

HOLY ROAR
7 Words That Will Change
The Way You Worship
By Chris Tomlin and Darren Whitehead

OVERVIEW: In Holy Roar, Chris Tomlin and Darren Whitehead share a fresh perspective from the worship practices of the ancient world. Grow in your understanding of praise as Darren offers unique insights. be inspired as Chris shares how those insights take shape in the stories behind some of your favorite worship songs, including "How Great is Our God," "We Fall Down," and "Good Good Father."

AUTHORS: Chris Tomlin has 12 albums, 16 #1 radio singles, a Grammy award, 21 Dove awards, and two platinum and five gold albums to his credit. He is among the most well-known and influential artists in music. It is estimated that each week 20-30 million people sing one of Tomlin's songs in worship. More than anything, Chris loves being a husband to Lauren and a dad to Ashlyn and Madison. Darren Whitehead is originally from Australia. He founded Church of the City in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2013. Each weekend around 6,000 people worship at one of the five locations across the metro area. Darren holds both his masters and doctorate degrees in ministry, with his dissertation research focusing on Millennial engagement in the Western Church. He lives with his wife, Brandy, and their three daughters, Sydney, Scarlett, and Violet in Nashville, Tennessee.

MY REVIEW: Holy Roar is a well written and easy to read book that will provide insight and encouragement to deepen your practice of praise. Being eighty-four years of age and having been a pastor for forty-seven years I feel I know quite a bit about praise. I agree with Louie Giglio who said, "I can't think of two more powerful voices to call us to a vibrant life of worship than Chris Tomlin and Darren Whitehead." However, I also feel that their book appeals more to Millennials than to those in my age group.

This is a small book with seven encouraging and uplifting chapters. Max Lucado wrote, "Chris and Darren have written an inspiring, insightful, and practical book on worship." After you read Holy Roar you will want to worship God with everything you have. This is an important book and one that needs to be read by every worshipper.

( I received this book from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for a fair and honest review.)

FEEL BETTER FAST AND MAKE IT LAST

Thursday, November 29, 2018

FEEL BETTER FAST
AND MAKE IT LAST
By Daniel G. Amen, MD

OVERVIEW: In Feel Better Fast and Make It Last, you'll discover powerful brain-based strategies to quickly gain control over anxiety, worry, sadness, stress, and anger, strengthening your resilience and giving you joy and purpose for a lifetime.

AUTHOR: Dr. Daniel G. Amen is a physician, a double board-certified psychiatrist, the founder of Amen Clinics, a 10-time New York Times bestselling author, and an international speaker. Together with Pastor Rick Warren and Mark Hyman, MD, Dr. Amen is also one of the chief architects of Saddleback Church's Daniel Plan, a program to get the world healthy through religious organizations. Dr. Amen has written, produced, and hosted many popular public television shows about the brain that have aired across North America. He has spoken for the National Security Agency, and his work has been featured in outlets, including Newsweek, Time magazine, HuffPost, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and Men's Health.

MY REVIEW: Most of us know people who need to overcome negativity, anxiety, anger, stress and trauma. Maybe not all of these, but at least one or two. I wanted to get this book hoping to help my friends. I found out that I could be a friend to myself by reading it and following Dr. Amen's wise counsel. I agree with him that "No one feels joyful all the time, but with an understanding of how your brain, mind, and attachments work—and of strategies to enhance their functioning—you are more likely to love your life and feel better every day.

The book is divided into seven different and helpful parts. An example is part 5 about nourishment. Dr. Amen talks about the feel better fast diet and then lists foods that help you feel great now and later. I especially liked part 7 about love. He states that doing the right thing is the ultimate act of love for self and others. I agree. Yes! We need to know and do the right thing. We will feel better!

I agree with Andrew Newberg, MD who wrote, "Fascinating and important neuroscience information on how to boost your mood, quiet anxiety, and increase your overall brain health, I highly recommend it."

(I received this book from Tyndale House Publishers for a fair and honest review.)

FINDING FAITH IN OURSELVES AND SOMETHING BIGGER

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

THE HUNDRED STORY HOME
A Memoir of finding faith in ourselves
and something bigger
By Kathy Izard

OVERVIEW: In The Hundred Story Home, Kathy Izard invites us to live out our own stories more fully. She wrote The Hundred Story Home not to convince you to solve homelessness in your community but to help you solve the homelessness in you. This beautiful memoir reminds us that not only can we help change the world, but in doing so we change ourselves. Following an insistent whisper, Kathy quit her job as a graphic designer and began to do what seemed unimaginable: build a home for Charlotte's homeless. Kathy was a mother of four, in the second half of her life, and the task didn't make any sense, yet it proved to be her first step in finding her way home.

AUTHOR: Kathy Izard was an award-winning graphic designer for twenty years in Charlotte before launching the pilot program Homeless to Home for the Urban Ministry Center in 2007. She successfully demonstrated this Housing First program could succeed and led the city-wide effort to build Moore Place, Charlotte's first permanent supportive housing for more than one hundred chronically homeless men and women. For more information, please visit KathyIzard.com.

MY REVIEW: If you have a heart for the plight of the chronically homeless, this is  a book you will want to read. If you know, are related to or feel deeply concerned about someone with bipolar disorder, you will be interested in this book. Most of all, this book will help you find faith, strengthen your faith, find faith in yourself or something bigger.

I was immediately interested and drawn into this book when I discovered what it was about. As a minister for over forty-seven years I knew that Jesus had a heart for the homeless and so did I. I just never knew what to do about it. I still don't know how to handle the homeless situation in my own city of Phoenix. But I now know more than I did before reading this book. I was also drawn in because like Kathy's mother, who was mentally ill, I have a niece who I love dearly that has a bipolar disorder.

I agree with author Courtney Westlake who said, "Compelling and convicting, The Hundred Story Home is a powerful testament to the way one person can affect transformation at the deepest levels. Kathy's beautiful storytelling propelled me outside of my comfort zones...It's impossible to read The Hundred Story Home and walk away unchanged."

(I received this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for a fair and honest review.)

PRAYING THE PROMISES

Wednesday, September 12, 2018


PRAYING THE PROMISES
Anchor Your Life To Unshakable Hope
By Max Lucado & Andrea Lucado

OVERVIEW: In Praying the Promises, Max Lucado invites you into a deeper understanding of the peace and security God offers his people. Through thirty Bible promises, reflections on the lives of biblical people of faith, and guided prayers, you will see a clearer picture of the promise of God and how he is the rock you can build your life upon.

AUTHORS: Max Lucado has more than 130 products in print. He is America's bestselling inspirational author. He serves the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he lives with his wife, Denalyn, and their mischievous mutt, Andy. Andrea Lucado is a freelance author of English Lessons: The Crooked Path of Growing Toward Faith. She has a master's degree in English literature from Oxford-Brookes University and contributes regularly to online and print publications such as Relevant magazine and She Reads Truth.

MY REVIEW: Max Lucado's daughter, Andrea joins him in making this a special book. They believe that praying the promises of God will anchor your life to unshakable hope. They don't promise a money back guarantee but they could have because you won't being asking for one. It works!

This is a small, beautifully bound volume that you will want to always have close at hand. You will not want to part with this special book but you will purchase extra copies to give as gifts. The world is a mess. We need help. We need hope. "For every problem in life, God has given us a promise. We can find hope by praying those promises."

Praying The Promises has a brief introduction and then thirty promises from God. So needless to say, this is a book filled with Scripture. Thirty times a section begins with a Scripture that sets a theme. Then the Lucados write briefly about that theme. And that is followed by four promises of God. And the section closes with praying the promises. "Trouble comes but so does God."

(I received this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for a fair and honest review.)

ETERNITY IS NOW IN SESSION

Thursday, September 06, 2018

ETERNITY IS NOW IN SESSION
A Radical Rediscovery Of What Jesus
Really Taught About Salvation,
Eternity, And Getting To The Good Place
By John Ortberg

OVERVIEW:  In Eternity Is Now In Session, bestselling author John Ortberg + engages in a radical rediscovery of what the Bible really says about salvation, + recaptures the New Testament definitions of salvation, eternal life, and the Good News of the gospel, + dispels the myth that eternal life is something we can only hope to experience after we die, and + talks about what it really means to be a disciple. And most important, he explains how we can experience the unspeakably rich, interactive fellowship and joy that exist between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Eternal life—here, now, every minute of every day.

AUTHOR: John Ortberg is the senior pastor of Menlo Church in Northern California and the bestselling author of many books. He has a PhD in clinical psychology and an MDiv from Fuller theological Seminary. He and his wife, Nancy, live in Menlo Park, California, and have three grown children. You can follow John at www.johnortberg.com and on Twitter and Facebook @johnortberg.

MY REVIEW: John Ortberg is one of my favorite authors. He writes in a way that flows and is easy to understand while writing about extremely difficult topics. Of all his books my favorite is If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat. And now, Eternity Is Now In Session has logged in at second place.

This is an extremely important book because it deals with one of life's most important subjects—salvation. Ortberg says his book is a radical rediscovery of what Jesus really taught on this subject. And it is. At least for me it is. His opinion on what Jesus means when He talks about eternity is one that I think all of us need to listen to. I was helped by a quote in the book from Brenda Colijn who when talking about eternal life said, It is "primarily qualitative rather than quantitative." That is good. Very good!

This good book will help dispel the myth that eternal life is something we can only hope to experience after we die. We need this good news. Eternal life is now in session.

(I received this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for a fair and honest review.)

BIG ONE DAY BLOG SELL

Friday, August 17, 2018



I have been blogging for 13 years. Well, that's not exactly true. I have been a blogger for 13 years.

There was a time when I posted on my blog every day. Not so much anymore.

Almost all of my blogging friends have closed shop.

Many of us are spending more time on Face Book and less on blogging

In recent years most of my posts have been book reviews. However, that too is now in decline. At one time I was reviewing books for many different publishers. Most of them have stopped having book reviews and I am now down to only two.

This week I renewed my interest in posting to my blog and did three. How about that? Three in one week. I would be pleased if you turned aside and read them clif74blog.blogspot.com.

Many of my dearest friends who say they are interested in what I am thinking and doing have never even once looked at my blog.

Well, that's all I wanted to say about blogging.

Oh, what about the BIG ONE DAY BLOG SELL? That was just hopefully to get your attention.

IT WORKS FOR MACY'S.

BOB, BOB, BOBBING ALONG-----A Love For Fish And Fishing

Thursday, August 16, 2018



Some of my fondest childhood memories are of hours spent sitting on a grassy creek bank with a fishing pole in my hand. I loved to see the bright little bobber on the line start to move. It meant a bluegill was messing with the worm on the hook. Ah, the days of youth.

There was also much joy in moving up to the wily days of sneaking into ponds where I didn't belong and casting out a long trotline. Coming back hours later to find a catfish on almost every hook.

Deep sea fishing gave me thrills up my spine and sickness in my stomach. Sometimes fish. Sometimes nothing.

I love fish and other sea food. I have enjoyed it from near and far.

Journeying to Ethiopia to help with a famine, I found myself eating almost nothing but fish. I ate it in a beautiful hotel restaurant in down town Addis Ababa  when a respected Doctor suggested it from the menu. I ate it out in the bush, of all places, in a small restaurant that seemed to almost appear out of nowhere.

In India, I enjoyed one of the largest prawns I have ever seen. It was so large I used a knife and fork to cut it up and eat it. It will always be one of my favorite memories because a dear friend and missionary to India found such joy it buying it for me and watching me eat it.

I had a big smile on my face when I enjoyed fish and chips in London, England. I have always liked Long John Silvers and Red Lobster is a favorite. But my favorite of all time was in the lovely little town of Rockport in beautiful New England. Maybe it was because I was with my wife and daughter.
Come to think of it, maybe the joy in all of this----fishing and eating came/comes not from just the activity but from who I am/was with.

Ah yes. That's it. Who I'm with! So as I go bob, bob, bobbing along I hope to see YOU soon.



YOUNG, SEXY POOL BOY OR OLD, SHOT POOL MAN

Wednesday, August 15, 2018


The monsoons are going to finish off this old man.

Night after night they come. It looks like there is no end.

BUT I get the job done. Our pool is sparkling clean. It's gorgeous.

NOW, would one of those young, sexy, pool boys do a better job?

I don't think so.

Would Charlotte like to see him running around in our back yard?

Probably.

She might fib and say, "Why no, I rather see you stumbling around out there."

We all know the truth. She's in her eighties now but hey, those "Old" eighties
gals are not dead.

Truth is she can't afford him. She's stuck with the old, shot pool man----me.

Pool looks good. It's gorgeous.

THE BUCKET LIST OBSESSION

Tuesday, August 14, 2018



Bucket list. I don't have one. Don't want one. Don't need one.

It's not that I have done it all. I haven't. 

But I have done a lot. I have ridden a camel up to the pyramids and walked inside. I have seen the Taj Mahal. 

I have done some big things. I have sat at the Captain's table for dinner on a Greek ship as we sailed the Mediterranean. I have been on the Island of Patmos where John wrote the book of Revelation. I have led the communion service of the Lord's Supper on the Lord's Day in the city of Jerusalem in front of the tomb where Jesus was laid. 

I grew up in Oklahoma doing a lot of small but interesting things. Did a lot of stuff in the exciting Los Angels area and also San Francisco. I have done a little bit of everything in Arizona. I have traveled to many distance and exciting places. I loved Paris.

Bucket list? I don't have one. No ambition? Absolutely not!

I have done and am doing what comes to me in the natural course of events. Yes. I plan some things. I just don't have a list of must dos before I die. I haven't put things to do on a list and I haven't been marking things off in my mind.

If I see tomorrow I will be happy. If I don't--- the Bible tells me I will be even happier.

I'm studying Spanish and teaching myself to play the piano. You would like to do that? Don't put it on a list, just do it. Got too many things on your bucket list? Rapidly approaching the final curtain?
It raises the question of what have you been doing all the time.

Bucket list? I don't have one. But I do have a bucket or two. I have an old bucket I got from Charlotte's Dad. He used it to feed his animals. I poked holes in the bottom and use it for a planter.
And I have a couple of bright orange buckets from Home Depot. The white letters on the side read: Let's Do This.

Good idea. I'm going to cook dinner tonight.  

  

THE SECRET OF LASTING FORGIVENESS

Thursday, June 28, 2018


THE SECRET OF LASTING FORGIVENESS
How To Find Peace By Forgiving Others And Yourself
By Bruce Wilkinson with Mark E. Strong

OVERVIEW: Through the teachings of Jesus, The Secret of Lasting Forgiveness reveals the link between our suffering and our unforgiveness. But it also shows how to forgive—for real and forever. Our Story doesn't have to end with the pain of our wounds. Whatever happened to us happened. But the God who made our hearts has shown a way through the wounds, back to the life and love that we were made for—a path to lasting peace.

AUTHOR: Dr. Bruce Wilkinson is the #1 New York times bestselling author of over sixty books, including The Prayer of Jabez. Bruce currently leads Teach Every Nation, a Bible training movement educating church leaders who cannot access or afford traditional academic institutions.
Dr. Mark E.Strong is the lead pastor of Life Change Church in Portland, Oregon, and the author of The Blessing Maker, Church for the Fatherless and The Divine Merger.

MY REVIEW: This book comes with a money back guarantee. But you will not be asking for it. Bruce Wilkinson delivers what he promises. This excellent book will show you how to find the illusive peace you have been searching for.

I like what Katy, a reader said after reading The Secret Of Lasting Forgiveness, "Do I feel differently about forgiveness? YES! I laughed, I cried, I danced, I wrote, I meditated. I stayed on the potter's wheel to let God do more work that had been hidden. A delight, a wonder." She liked it! I didn't laugh. I didn't cry. I didn't dance. But I certainly did meditate and I profited greatly.

The book is divided into two sections. Part one is Our Secret Plan. Part two is Our Path to Peace. There are eleven brief chapters. Each one packed with wonderful truths from the Scriptures that will help lead you to forgiveness and peace. This is a book you should want to read. It is a book you need to read. And I feel after reading it you will want to share it with others.

(I received this book from Zeal Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.)

FINDING THE LOVE OF JESUS—FROM GENESIS TO REVELATION

Friday, June 15, 2018



FINDING THE LOVE OF JESUS
from Genesis to Revelation
By Elyse Fitzpatrick

OVERVIEW: The Bible is about Jesus and his love for you! Elyse Fitzpatrick reveals how each section of the Bible—the law, history, poetry, the epistles—points to God's eternal love and the good news of redemption through his Son. You'll find yourself drawn to the Bible like never before as you begin to see Jesus on every page. Discussion questions make this a great book for individual or small-group study.

AUTHOR: ELYSE FITZPATRICK is a frequent speaker at churches, retreats, and large conferences such as The Gospel Coalition and True Woman. She has an MA in biblical counseling from Trinity Theological Seminary and has authored twenty-three books on daily living and the Christian life. She lives with her husband in San Diego, California.

MY REVIEW: Amanda Bible Williams said, "Reading this book made me want to read my Bible." I agree. I think after you have read this book you will want to dig into your Bible. From Genesis to Revelation. That's a lot of love. I agree with Susan Hunt, a pastor's wife, who wrote: "Whether you have studied the Bible for years or just begun, Finding the Love of Jesus from Genesis to Revelation will renew your mind and refresh your soul. In her engaging style, Elyse makes deep truths understandable as she teaches us how to see Jesus in all of Scripture."

This splendid book has eight chapters: 1. It's All about Him; 2. Seeing What's Right before You; 3. Finding the Love of Jesus in the Books of Moses; 4. Finding the Love of Jesus in Israel's Stories; 5. Finding the Love of Jesus in His Songs and Sayings; 6. Finding the Love of Jesus in His Prophets; 7. Finding the Love of Jesus in His Law; 8. Finding the Love of Jesus in the gospel. And there is an appendix: Coming to Saving Faith.

This book is written especially for women—but not just for women. I found it to be enlightening, helpful and hard to put down.

(I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for a fair and honest review.)